church in the second century, it may safely be said that the hypotheses of the Tubingen School have proved themselves everywhere inadequate, very erroneous, and are today held by only a very few scholars.? See Baur, Die kanonischen Evangelien; Canonical Gospels (Eng. transl.), 530; Supernatural Religion, 1:212-444 and vol. 2: Pfleiderer, Hibbert Lectures for 1885. For accounts of Baur?s position, see Herzog, Encyclop^die. art.: Baur; Clarke?s translation of Hase?s Life of Jesus, 34-36; Farrar, Critical History of Free Thought, 227, 228.
We object to the Tendency theory of Baur, that
(a) The destructive criticism to which it subjects the gospels, if applied to secular documents, would deprive us of any certain knowledge of the past, and render all history impossible.
The assumption of artifice is itself unfavorable to a candid examination of the documents. A perverse acuteness can descry evidences of a hidden animus in the most simple and ingenuous literary productions. Instance the philosophical interpretation of ?Jack and Jill.?
(b) The antagonistic doctrinal tendencies, which it professes to find in the several gospels, are more satisfactorily explained as varied but consistent aspects of the one system of truth held by all the apostles.
Baur exaggerates the doctrinal and official differences between the leading apostles. Peter was not simply a Judaizing Christian, but was the first preacher to the Gentiles. and his doctrine appears to have been subsequently influenced to a considerable extent by Paul?s (see Plumptre on 1 Pet., 68-60). Paul was not an exclusively Hellenizing Christian, but invariably addressed the gospel to the Jews before he turned to the Gentiles. The evangelists give pictures of Jesus from different points of view. As the Parisian sculptor constructs his bust with the aid of a dozen photographs of his subject, all taken from different points of view, so from the four portraits furnished us by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John we are to construct the solid and symmetrical life of Christ. The deeper reality, which makes reconciliation of the different views possible, is the actual historical Christ. Marcus Dods, Expositor?s Greek Testament, 1:675 ? ?They are not two Christs, but one, which the four Gospels depict: diverse as the profile and front face, but one another?s complement rather than contradiction.?
Godet, Introduction to Gospel Collection, 272 ? Matthew shows time greatness of Jesus ? his full-length portrait; Mark his indefatigable activity; Luke his beneficent compassion; John his essential divinity.
Was this article helpful?